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Military Spouse Preference

WHAT IS MILITARY SPOUSE PREFERENCE?

It is preference in employment for civilian positions and assistance in locating employment opportunities with the Department of Defense (DoD) in the same commuting area of the sponsor’s duty station. “Preference” is priority in the selection process for military spouses when they are being considered along with others. It applies only when the spouse is among the best-qualified candidates and is prior or currently civil service. “Preference” does not mean that positions are created or made available especially for spouses or that spouses have any special appointing authority or a guarantee that a job will be available.

HOW DO I RECEIVE SPOUSE PREFERENCE?

Spouse preference is applied in several different ways, depending on how a position is being filled, its location, and whether you have “status” (meaning civil service status). “Status” applicants include current career/career-conditional employees, reinstatement eligible, and prior overseas family member appointables.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR MILITARY SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE?

If you are the spouse of an active duty Armed Forces member, you are entitled, upon PCS relocation to the sponsor’s duty station, to spouse employment preference.

TO WHAT POSITIONS DOES THE PREFERENCE APPLY?

Virtually all DoD civilian positions at GS-15 (and equivalent) and below, worldwide, with certain exceptions, including intelligence-related positions and mandatory mobility positions.

Note: Preference also applies to non-appropriated funds (NAF) positions (e.g., jobs in clubs, messes, recreational facilities, etc.) at UA08 and below. This fact sheet does not provide information about procedures for NAF employment. Interested spouses should contact NAF activities (Bldg. 39) or call (361) 961-3187 directly for specific information.

WHEN DOES SPOUSE PREFERENCE APPLY?

Preference applies up to 30 days prior to sponsor’s reporting date to the new duty station and throughout the tour at that duty station. In foreign areas, spouses don’t receive preference until they actually arrive at the overseas location.  Activities are not required to grant preference if you are within six months of the next PCS move.

HOW DOES SPOUSE PREFERENCE WORK?

Generally, spouses with preference must be selected ahead of non-spouses when both are being considered. However, because of the many options in the filling of positions, exceptions can sometimes apply. As examples, selections of displaced employees, overseas returnees, certain internal employees and hiring in some special programs may take precedence over military spouses. Also, preference does not apply when it would result in displacement of a current employee or when positions are filled below the full performance level (except for positions formerly covered by the PACE).

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

Any Civilian Personnel Office can provide you information about specific vacancy, procedures for applying for positions, preference procedures, and the like. Ask to speak with the Military Spouse Preference Coordinator or Priority Place Program Coordinator.

The Fleet and Family Support Center at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi can provide you assistance with development of job search skills, referrals for employment and similar matters. You may call us at (361) 961-2372 or come by the 4th floor of the Health Clinic between the hours of 7:30 am and 4:00 pm.

If you feel you have been denied spouse employment preference, you may appeal in writing for a final determination to:
Office of Civilian Personnel Management
Staffing Systems Division
800 North Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22203-1998

Navy Civilian Personnel Office
Bldg 1730
Priority Placement Program Coordinator (361) 961-3906 X-115
Morale, Welfare & Recreation
Non-Appropriated Funds Appropriated Funds
Bldg 39 (361) 961-3187